An important part of WasteServ’s vision is to generate as much energy as possible from the processes of landfilling and waste treatment, alongside the traditional methods of sustainable energy generation, such as solar panels and wind turbines.
Back in 2007, to celebrate the symbolic beginning of electricity generation from solid waste in Malta, a large Christmas tree 15 meters high was installed on the top of the waste hill at the closed landfill of Maghtab and the 500 bulbs were energised from landfill gas. The Christmas tree was, in fact, powered by an electrical generator modified to run on gas generated from waste in the Ta’ Zwejra Engineered Landfill.
The estimated amount of energy expected to be generated from the landfill facilities at the Maghtab Environmental Complex is that equivalent to the electricity needs of 3,000 households, based on an average occupancy of 4 persons.
In addition to energy generated from waste gases at the landfill sites (both closed and active), energy is also generated at the Anaerobic Digestion plant at Sant’Antnin. In fact, the Sant’Antnin plant is at times entirely self-sufficient in terms of electricity and even manages to return some energy to the national grid during the silent hours. The new 'Malta North' waste treatment plant, currently under construction within the Maghtab complex, will further contribute to the generation of energy from waste via a similar anaerobic digestion process to that at Sant'Antnin.
The current system installed at Sant'Antnin also permits heat energy to be recovered. This heat energy is primarily used to treat any noxious gases that occur within the process and may either work through a special oxidation chamber or through direct burning in a special flare. Moreover, the last quarter of 2012 saw the commissioning of a system which tapped into the heat energy of the electricity generating machines and made use of this to contribute to the heating up of the swimming pool of the nearby Inspire facilities – a location where the pool requires to be kept at warm temperatures all year round.
To complement the generation of energy from waste, wind turbines and solar panels have also been installed at various Civic Amenity sites. The amount of energy generated at the various Civic Amenity sites up to December 2013 through the installation of photovoltaic panels and wind turbines was in excess of 150 MWh. Click below for details of current power generation at the various CA sites.